MANATEE -- Deputies are looking for three suspects who robbed a McDonald's restaurant and pistol-whipped two employees early Friday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
About 4:30 a.m. an employee had completed his shift and was in the parking lot of the restaurant at 604 67th Street Circle East -- near the interchange of Interstate 75 and State Road 64 -- when the suspects approached and pistol-whipped him, according to a news release.
They forced him back in the restaurant, where the suspects located the manager and another employee. They pistol whipped the manager and while pointing a gun at the employees, demanded the manager open a safe in the office, according to the sheriff's office.
The manager complied and the suspects fled. A witness saw them drive off in a 2000s four-door tan Toyota Camry heading eastbound on State Road 64, according to the report.
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Deputies searched the area but did not find the suspects. The injured employees were taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital, where they were treated and released.
This was the second restaurant robbed in that area this week. Early Wednesday, a masked gunman robbed the adjacent Waffle House restaurant.
The sheriff's office did not say whether investigators believe the stick-ups are related.